Thursday, March 4, 2010

MS and Google struggle for the Hearts and Minds of IT resellers

I've blogged previously about the Conflict of Interest that arises when an IT reseller has an agency with two competing vendors. Here's part of an interview with Paul Cooper, director of emerging solutions,and Gerard Roberts, national cloud manager at SMS Technology that appeared in CRN. The topic of the interview was the decision by SMS - a long time Microsoft reseller - to begin selling Google products.

CRN: Do you ever pitch Google Apps and Microsoft Exchange to the one customer?

Cooper: We won't do that. We would make a decision for the client and go in with one or the other. We wouldn't put ourselves in the position of doing a bakeoff.

Roberts: If we're engaging at a strategic level where we are helping them put their roadmap forward, then we would possibly encounter that situation. But I think if that would be the case we would be above the line and wouldn't be eligible to do the implementation.

It would be seen that we would have a conflict of interest in the decision.

So my questions to these gentlemen - who I'm sure are likable chaps - are:

  • What would they say to Microsoft if SMS decided to pitch Google to a client who is currently using MS software which was sold to them by SMS?

  • Is Microsoft supposed to walk away from trying to rescue their client?

  • Would they be upset if Microsoft introduced another MS Partner to that client?

  • How do they justify the statement 'We would make a decision for the client....'. Isn't the client supposed to be the one making the decisions based on information provided by the resellers?
I think that Microsoft (and Google and IBM and Oracle etc.) are entitled to ask for loyalty from their resellers and as far as I can see SMS is falling far short of that mark.

1 comment:

Gavin Bollard said...

"We wouldn't put ourselves in the position of doing a bakeoff."

So what, they just DECIDE on what's best for the customer without permitting the customer to weigh the pros and cons.

That's why WE the customer prefer to get a sales team from EACH prospective vendor and have them put their case before us.

When buying a car, which is better?

Having a test drive (and quote) of a Holden
Having a test drive (and quote) of a Ford

Then making your decision.

or going to an unlabelled "car" dealership and have them offer you only one thing. The option which pays them the best commi... uh, I mean, the BEST solution.